This strange yet magnificent tree is found only on the island of Madagascar. Known locally as the renala and sometimes referred to as ‘mother of the forest’, Grandidier’s baobabs have huge, cylindrical or bulbous trunks that can grow up to three metres across and are covered with smooth, grey bark. The baobab’s flowers are pollinated by bats and nocturnal lemurs. Grandidier’s baobabs are most at home in dry, deciduous forest; however, following severe destruction of this habitat, today they are more commonly found in open, agricultural or degraded land.
Est. in the wild:
Known locally as renala, Grandidier’s baobab is probably the best-known of Madagascar’s baobabs. These remarkable and iconic trees symbolise Madagascar’s unique wildlife just as much as its lemurs.
baobab species are found in Madagascar. All of them are threatened with extinction.
The diameter of a baobab’s trunk, which stores water to help the tree cope with drought.
Although the number of Grandidier’s baobabs is currently quite high, the species is threatened by a lack of regeneration (the formation of new trees). It is also threatened by overexploitation of its fruits, seeds and bark, which could be adversely affecting its ability to regenerate. The seeds are collected to make oil for cooking and to produce cosmetics, the bark is used in traditional medicine, while bark fibres are turned into rope, and used for roofing. It is also threatened by the rapid transformation of its habitat into agricultural land, by fires and by overgrazing.
Over 10,000 tree species are threatened with extinction, and often the risks to a particular species are unique.
Please help us to protect endangered tree species like Grandidier's baobab by joining as a member today.
Fauna & Flora International – working through the Global Trees Campaign and in collaboration with partner Madagasikara Voakajy – has been protecting baobabs since 2008. We have helped two communities gain management rights over important baobab habitats and designed management plans with local people to reduce threats (such as forest fires, bark removal and felling of mature baobabs) to this species. We are also replenishing populations with seedlings grown in nurseries.
Baobabs have huge cultural value for nearby communities and are the subject of local stories and legends. The trees also provide a focal point for village events and ceremonies. Madagasikara Voakajy has built on this cultural connection in its work and together we are helping people find solutions to the tree’s overuse, through the development of local enterprises linked to sustainable baobab fruit harvesting.
“Grandidier’s baobab is a true icon of Madagascar; together with local communities, Madagasikara Voakajy and FFI are working to protect and multiply this irreplaceable species in the Malagasy landscape.”
Today, over 10,000 tree species are threatened with extinction, with more than 1,900 species listed as critically endangered. Find out how FFI is working to conserve our planet's threatened trees.
Humans are inextricably linked to the environmental landscape within which our daily lives unfold. We depend completely on nature for a stable climate, clean air and water, and food.